Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mari's Wine Bar (Downey)



Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Tripel Karmeliet - Brouwerij Bosteels (Belgium).

Little Rascals?? Nah.  I wish!

Wine is the least of my favorite alcoholic beverages.  I don't dislike it by any means.  It's just that, I find cocktails and beer more compelling.  I don't have the refined palate that most wine drinkers [purport to] have.  And that's no slight on wine drinkers.  It's just fact.  So please,don't take it up with me; I'm just the messenger.

That being said, I've appreciated the few wine bars I've been to around town.  But not for the wine.  Craft beer and small plates have grabbed my attention.  Whether, it's a long inventory of suds or a meager stash of beer, any good wine bar should carry a good selection of craft beer.  In my opinion, chances are good that if a wine bar is gonna carry good beer, then the wine selection will also be a well-curated one.  The inverse should hold true as well.

Enter, Mari's Wine Bar.  Literally.  I entered the bar around 11pm on a Saturday night and the place was nearly deserted, save a couple and lone bartender/sommelier.  I immediately felt like I was in the wrong place.  Oh well, I was already inside so I went ahead to see if they had something to offer my beer loving palate.  I asked the guy if they had craft beer and he pointed out a handful of 4+ syllable brews - all bottled.  Errrr...while he mentioned questionable craft brews, I had local breweries in mind.  His selection was mainly imports and import sounding beer.  You know, like beer and wine that sounds expensive cuzz half the label is hard to pronounce?  Stuff that is pronounced with a thick accent to make you think it's some real hardcore shit?  Ya, that stuff.  Anyway, I recognized a few bottles so we drank a couple and called it a night.  The beer wasn't bad.  In fact the Karmeliet was good.  But it's so generic and standard an import that it doesn't excite.  If they carried beer from local breweries any brewery in USA I would have been excited to drop by again.  But as it stands, I'll pass unless I hear otherwise.  

I'm still waiting on a local watering hole to provide that rotating craft beer experience that I continue to drive miles and miles for.  Downey "Brewing" Company, with your stupid gimmicky das boot and stein, I'm coming soon.  But fret not, I won't have my hopes up, so you're already better than what I thought Mari's Wine Bar would be.    


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